Hill, M. J., Holt, M., Hanscom, B., Wang, Z., Cardenas-Turanzas, M., Latkin, C.. Gender and race as correlates of high risk sex behaviors among injection drug users at risk for HIV enrolled in the HPTN 037 study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018, 183: 267-274. PMC5803307
BACKGROUND: Sexual contact has been shown to be a major mode of HIV transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). This study examined gender and racial differences among PWID' sexual risk behaviors from the perspective of sexual scripts. METHODS: 696 PWID enrolled from Philadelphia on HPTN 037 were classified as engaging in high-risk sex behaviors if they reported having sex in the past 30 days and condomless sex with a non-primary partner, giving/receiving sex for money, or multiple partners. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to assess associations between demographic factors and high risk sex. RESULTS: Findings of the multivariable regression analysis demonstrated that being White (OR = 0.52, p < 0.001) and male (OR = 0.59, p = 0.002) were protective of high risk sex, while homelessness (OR = 1.7, p = 0.005), and being single (OR = 1.83, p = 0.006) were positively associated with high risk sex. African American (AA) women were 1.7 times more likely to report high-risk sex than AA men (p = 0.002), 3.28 times more likely than White men (p < 0.001), and 1.93 times more likely than White women (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Since AA women report high-risk sex behaviors more than other demographic groups, behavioral interventions for HIV risk reduction among PWID may benefit from focusing on sex-risk reduction among AA women.